Wine Enthusiast 95
"An incredible showcase for the appellation, this combines grapes from the producer's estate Westside Farms with Dutton, Woolsey Road and Rochioli Allen, among others. Together it is broadly floral, earthy and richly integrated, with depth and complexity, the acidity vibrantly fresh."
Wine Advocate 91+
"The 2018 Chardonnay Russian River Valley is youthfully shy, hinting at stone, apricot and white blossoms. In the mouth, it's medium-bodied, uber silky and minerally with great freshness and a long finish. 13,340 cases produced."
This is the 3rd vintage to come exclusively from Martinellis Charles Ranch vineyard in the Fort Ross Seaview AVA in the Sonoma Coast. Charles Ranch has been farmed by the Martinelli family since the late 1800s. In 1982 George Hastings Charles (Lee Martinelli Jrs maternal grandfather planted the vineyard and Lee Martinelli Jr. has managed the vineyard since 1989. The vineyard is located two ridges away from the Pacific ocean and is planted to Old Wente clones on AXR rootstocks in thin and well drained Goldridge sandstone and Josephine shale-stone soils.
2018 began with a very wet winter. The summer was mild until a significant heatwave around Labor Day sent winemakers and growers scrambling to pick the first wave of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After the heat wave, temperatures were warm and steady, allowing winemakers to make picking decisions based on optimal fruit maturity rather than impending weather. Our harvest started Aug 21st with the final Merlot from Carneros arriving on October 10th. Yields were very close to projections while fruit quality ranged from great to exceptional, with well-preserved acids, great color and good varietal expression.
We press the whole clusters for delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies btonnage. After aging 12 months in 25 new French oak barrels (Franois Frres, Taransaud Beaune),and 5 Concrete egg, the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity during the following harvest and bottled without filtration in January 2019.
Coming from special vineyard sites, our Chardonnays show great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. Typically, the climate is cool and the soil vigor low, producing graceful yet vibrant wines.
Ramey Wine CellarsView all from Ramey Wine Cellars
A select group of winemakers can be credited with revolutionizing modern day winemaking in California. They are the innovators who, some 20 years ago, brought Old World traditions back to a New World that had thrown in its lot with university scientists to make squeaky clean wines largely devoid of character. The goal of these new wave winemakers was to put terroir back into the bottle and create wines of unique distinction.
David Ramey is widely acknowledged to be among the wine pioneers whose efforts helped raise the bar for all American winemakers and brought California to the forefront of the international wine world. David's groundbreaking work with indigenous yeasts and malolactic and barrel fermentation yielded a new California style that was richer, more lush and silky smooth than previously known. As a result, he created a benchmark style now emulated by many.
David Ramey is certainly one of the best known and most highly regarded winemakers in California. David has finally realized his dream of producing wines under his own name and has devoted himself exclusively to this pursuit.
"A multi-tasker, David Ramey's Healdsburg operation garnered lavish reviews for his Cabernet Sauvignons in issue #186. He also demonstrates a Midas touch with Chardonnay, while continuing to fine tune his Syrah portfolio. In addition, Ramey's consulting business appears to be growing by leaps and bounds, and he has been a major factor in turning around the quality of a number of wineries. The 2007 Ramey Chardonnays are all strong efforts, including the three generic offerings from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River, and Carneros, and his single vineyard efforts from the Hudson, Hyde, and Ritchie vineyards." – Robert Parker, February 2010